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Reducing Our Risk
Organization: Buoyant Foundation Project
More than 123 million people in the United States live in coastal areas (NOAA, 2010). As sea levels rise, weather patterns shift and extreme weather events intensify, more and more of these areas are in danger of catastrophic flooding. From Katrina's devastation of New Orleans in 2005 to Hurricane Sandy's flooding of New York in 2012, coastal areas previously thought safe from inundation are already at risk. The Buoyant Foundation Project aims to provide inexpensive retrofits to existing houses that will allow property and possessions to survive both repetitive seasonal and occasional extreme flooding. Unlike erecting extensive levee systems or rebuilding structures to a higher elevation, amphibious construction works in synchrony with a floodprone region’s natural cycles of flooding, while remaining relatively inexpensive and able to cope with ever-increasing flood levels. Most importantly, it is a bottom-up solution that individual homeowners can apply themselves, rather than a top-down solution dependent on infrastructure megaprojects and government relief agencies.